1,000 titles for every year for The Electric Fetus

Oh, the stories that'll be told in Sunday get-together

Weekend Roundup
June 09, 2018 - 12:18 pm
Electric Fetus record store

Tom Smith

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They were there when vinyl was king. Made it through two relocations and the industry's conversion to digital.

They're now at the forefront of the rebirth of the original form of distributed music.

Even now, people who operate and work at the Electric Fetus believe there are 50,000 titles in their inventory in a 50/50 mix of vinyl and digital.

And even more memories.

It is all on display this week to mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of the iconic indie record store, capped by Saturday night's bash at First Avenue.
  
"We've got four bands, we've got a DJ," said store manager Bob Fuchs. "We just needed to have kind of a blow-out. It's been fifty years, it's a long time. It's kind of a milestone."

Real Estate, Flaming Oh's, Last Import, and DJ Roy Freeman are on the bill.

On Sunday, it's a little calmer for a get-together at the store on Fourth and Franklin.

"Just kind of a chance for people to let loose, and visit and reconnect," said Fuchs. "Some people were going to be able to make it for the Saturday show, but it's a nice time for everybody, old customers and employees, to kind of hang out together and just swap stories."

Like the infamous "Nude Sale," which happened in the 1970's, two years after Dan Foley and Ron Korsh first opened the store in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

"That was a one-time thing, before my time," said Fuchs of the offer of a free record for anyone taking off their clothes. It was a promotion for the store's first relocation.

"They had apparently lost their lease already, and had a little fun with it," Fuchs said.

"It was quite an event."

Another amazing occurrence was when the Electric Fetus hosted a in-store concert in 1999 by bass guitar player Larry Graham, backed by musicians who worked with Prince.

That was during a time when store managers didn't consider putting limits on people inside the building.

"We probably had 600 people in here," said Fuchs. "It was absolutely shaking the walls, people were dancing on the bins, the floor was moving up and down, we were like, 'oh my goodness, what's going on here?'"

That concert was voted best of the year by City Pages, said Fuchs, with a tinge of pride mixed with memories of the headaches trying to control a wild night.

"It was absolute pandemonium," said Fuchs.

Prince was a long-time customer at the Electric Fetus, and Fuchs says many fans who came to Minneapolis to mark his birthday are planning to join in the store's celebration.

The store now selling about half C-D's and half vinyl at Fourth and Franklin, its home since 1972. It's believed to have an inventory of more than 50,000 titles.